“___ON___”: The Importance of Playing

“___ON___”: The Importance of Playing

In this new series we’ll be hearing from a new person each month, talking on a specific topic of their choosing – something they love, a hobby, an interest, a thread they’ve been feeling lately, or a new discovery.

Vanessa Vancour on The Importance of Playing

“I fear that I present as a very serious person. I hate to admit how much I think and worry about this, but I do. When I watch characters – real or fictional – act goofy or silly, I find myself wishing that I could be more like them. Arms flailing wildly, laughing loudly, and not giving a damn what anyone thinks. 

Like many of us, I am learning so many lessons in this pandemic, some of which include how to sit in my stillness, be more flexible, slow the eff down and seek opportunities to play. 

Tip of the hat to my pal Annie Burns for helping me define what play means with the help of my girl Brené Brown who talked about this on her podcast “Unlocking Us.” In this episode, she talks about play as an energy source and antidote to depression. According to the researcher she quotes, we are biologically programmed to play, and play is simply “time spent without purpose.” For an overthinker like me, this made it so much more attainable. I’m also obsessed with data and research, and guess what – play is good for our brains. Look it up.

In a culture that rewards productivity and performance, I am challenging myself to play more.

I am paying close attention to how I feel when I partake in certain activities, especially when I lose myself to the flow. You know that feeling when you lose track of time and your heart is overflowing? That’s what I’m after. 

For me, playing shows up in cooking, biking, longboarding, being outside in any capacity, reading and puzzle making. When I make purposeful time for these things, I am a happier human, my head is clear, and I have room for inspiration and creativity. 

So my challenge and invitation to others is to consider how you can add more play to your own life, whatever form that may take!”